Review by Simon Martin
Operation Flashpoint is the latest in a long line of First Person Shooters on the PC, only this time it's one that's based on a real life setting, and involves a lot more than just shooting the enemies.
Set during 1985 in the midst of the Cold War, Operation Flashpoint drops you in to the conflict between NATO and Soviet forces.
You start off simply obeying orders, but after some initial training, you're put in to action against the Soviet forces, working your way up through the ranks the more experienced you become.
It's not just walking about in muddy fields though - action takes place in everything from helicopters to tanks - if it was used in the cold war, it's been faithfully recreated for Operation Flashpoint to immerse you in an atmospheric and extremely realistic setting.
Tactics play a large part in the game, it's not a fragfest like Unreal Tournament of Half Life - you actually have to plan your moves, and when played in multi-player, work as a real team, not just firing off shots at random - In many ways Operation Flashpoint has a similar style of gameplay to Rogue Spear and to an extent the Counter Strike part of Half Life.
Graphically Operation Flashpoint is stunning, with some of the best visuals ever seen in a war simulation. They are solid and very realistic, along with quality sound effects which simply add even more appeal and realism to the game. Draw distances are very impressive - you can actually see right in to the distance, and see the Soviet forces approaching you.
A welcome change from other war simulators is that there's no overly complicated control system to learn - everything's been designed so that you can get straight in to the action.
Online multiplayer games are fun, but at the moment there are no dedicated servers for Operation Flashpoint running, as they aren't due to come online until after the American launch later this month.
Operation Flashpoint has been designed to allow for expansion - not only is there a mission editor, but Codemasters are also providing add-on packs direct from the official website which includes extra vehicles, weapons and missions.
Overall an amazing game which may appear too hard to gamers when first played, but after a bit of trial and error, you'll soon find yourself completely immersed in the action, and simply wanting more. The fact that it doesn't just focus on being a soldier or driving a tank, so you've got plenty of different skills to learn to become a real expert player.Overall score: 9 out of 10
Recommended Price: £39.99
Available: NowBuy Operation Flashpoint from Amazon